Up Mar­kets board­ing up the Play­house from Irma

Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY - By JAN SJOSTROM

The shut­tered Royal Poin­ciana Play­house was un­pro­tected Thurs­day morn­ing as Hur­ri­cane Irma bar­reled to­ward South Florida.

The win­dows and doors of the theater and ad­ja­cent Celebrity Room, a for­mer restau­rant, were bare of shut­ters or sand­bags.

But help was on the way, said Alexan­dra Pat­ter­son, spokes­woman for land­lord Up Mar­kets, which con­trols the Royal Poin­ciana Plaza un­der a long-term lease.

“We have di­rected the on-site team to pro­tect the win­dows and doors of the Play­house and celebrity room with ply­wood,” she said.

Up Mar­kets’ team planned to place sand­bags in front of doors prop­erty-wide, to close ex­ist­ing shut­ters and to se­cure or re­move loose ob­jects, she said. Ten­ants are re­sponsi- ble for pro­tect­ing their own spa­ces, she said.

The work was to be done by 5 p.m. Fri­day, the deadline for evac­u­at­ing the is­land un­der a town or­der, she said.

The land­marked theater, which has been va­cant since 2004, has been the sub­ject of mul­ti­ple law­suits at­tempt­ing to force the plaza owner to re­open it. The Town Coun­cil has re­quired reg­u­lar re­ports from Up Mar­kets on its progress in find­ing a ten­ant. In July, Pat­ter­son as­sured the coun­cil that the com­pany ex­pects a let­ter of in­tent to lease the theater be ex­e­cuted “any day.”

on-site team was di­rected to pro­tect the win­dows and doors.

The Play­house is pro­tected un­der a 1979 prop­erty-use agree­ment be­tween the plaza’s own­ers and the town.

John Page, di­rec­tor of the Plan­ning, Zon­ing and Build­ing De­part­ment, said he was un­aware, how­ever, of any le­gal obli­ga­tion the plaza man­age­ment might have to erect storm shut­ters or to take sim­i­lar steps to se­cure the prop­erty from hur­ri­cane dam­age.

Staff writer Wil­liam Kelly con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Jan Sjostrom / Daily News

The Royal Poin­ciana Play­house’s win­dows and doors were un­pro­tected Thurs­day morn­ing as Hur­ri­cane Irma bar­reled to­ward South Florida.

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